I am a 19 year old (will be 20 in April) and got my first speeding ticket in mid January. I have a court date next week and I'm unsure what to do about it? Here is the story: I go to the University of Kansas and I was on my way back from Christmas break but I took a different way because I had to make a stop elsewhere so I was using my Garmin to lead me in the right direction. However, one of the roads were closed due to construction so I had to go a completly different way and I got lost. I used my Garmin, however, I was still about 30 min delayed. I didn't know where I was nor did I know the speed limit but I assumed it was 30 so I slowed way down to 30 after realizing I was speeding but as I was getting closer to the end of town, I saw the speed limit change to 45. I had passed that 45mph sign and I see lights behind me, I didn't know it was for me so I just began to pull to the side and then noticed he was as well, obviously to pull me over. He said he clocked me going 43 in a 30 and I asked him, "I thought it was 45" and he said no, it is 30mph all along this strip. I said, okay. Got him my registration and such, he gave me a ticket, and I was on my way, very confused. This was in the town of Tonganoxie, KS (county of Leavenworth). I went back about a week later because I was going through town and decided to look at the signs where I had been pulled over. There are 3 45mph speed limit signs within this area. I had passed 2 of the 3 signs when the policeman pulled me over. This is my first speeding ticket, in fact it is the first time I've been pulled over (besides the one time when I was 15 when I got pulled over because my headlight was out). But what gets me is, did another policeman call him in because they clocked me speeding when I was speeding early on or was I really going 43 in a 30 when I thought it was 45? And in which way, what are my options? Do I get a deferral? Will this raise my insurance? Should I fight it? Etc.
3 Answers from Attorneys
You're facing the same decision that all ticketed motorists face. You may prevail in defending the spending charge. But, the costs of doing so is often higher than pleading to a lesser offense, other agreement. Depending upon who for insurer is, your rates might go up, if the charge isn't changed. You may email me, if you want to discuss your options for avoiding the speeding conviction.
I would not plead guilty, as that might raise your insurance rates. That leaves as options either a plea agreement or a trial. If in fact you were in a 45 mph zone when you were observed by the officer, you have a valid defense. Of course, a trial is a coin flip; so if you are not a gambler, and if the evidence could go either way, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea for you. Many lawyers do not charge for initial consultation.
Feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance.
Sean Santoro/Licensed in KS and MO
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